Kirk Meurer was on monitor to have considered one of his finest years ever in his enterprise putting in workplace furnishings within the Cleveland space. However when firms started sending their staff residence final spring, his enterprise dried up virtually in a single day.
“Though we didn’t must shut down just like the eating places and bars and the journey industries, it didn’t matter,” he mentioned. “The enterprise wasn’t there.”
After some delays, Mr. Meurer bought cash by the federal Paycheck Safety Program, which he thought can be sufficient to maintain him till enterprise rebounded. However because the pandemic dragged on and workplaces pushed again their reopening dates to the summer time, then to the autumn, then into subsequent 12 months, it turned clear the corporate would wish extra assist to outlive.
“It’s superb how briskly you may burn by cash while you’ve bought nothing coming in and all of the overhead to keep up,” Mr. Meurer mentioned.
In current weeks, his firm, Modular Programs Technicians, obtained a $10,000 grant from a brand new state fund to assist small companies. He additionally bought cash below a program that refunded $8 billion from the state staff’ compensation fund.
“It helped,” Mr. Meurer he mentioned. “It’s not practically sufficient, however they did what they might.”
The cash for the Ohio grant program, and from another current state assist efforts, truly got here from the federal authorities. As a part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act final spring, Congress created a $150 billion fund that states might faucet in responding to the virus. They got huge latitude in utilizing the cash — so long as they did so earlier than the top of the 12 months.
Because the pandemic has flared anew, nonetheless, it has develop into clear that the financial disaster will final properly into subsequent 12 months, by which level the federal cash can be gone and state budgets can be unable to select up the slack. So states are racing to make use of what’s left of the CARES Act cash to shore up their economies and construct a buffer for the winter.